The mechanics of the shovel pass

Last week we saw a couple of well-executed and very effective shovel passes.  As such, Smart Football breaks down the effectiveness of the shovel pass:

Specifically, the shovel alleviates the biggest problem with using the draw as the run play: it’s just a fraction too slow. Now, some of this improves as the quarterback becomes a better and quicker decisionmaker, but often, as seen in the diagram below, the draw is well blocked and there’s lots of space, but a defender who is trying to get to the quarterback is also able to get a hand on the runningback to stop him for a loss. The shovel lets the runner clear the wreckage by the quarterback and get upfield more quickly.


Todd Smith

About Todd Smith

Todd Smith is a part-time sportswriter who spends too much time arguing on Twitter. What he really loves is eating poorly and watching football. He got his first Colts t-shirt in 1984 shortly after the Mayflower trucks arrived and has never given up on his hometown team. He also still holds to the belief that Kordell Stewart stepped out of the end zone and thus cheated the Colts.

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